Be Aware of the Effects of How & What You Eat:
10 Eating Habits that Increase Chances of Anxiety & Panic Attacks
You’re dizzy and lightheaded. You’re breaking out in a cold sweat and you have difficulty swallowing. You have an increased heart rate and palpitations. For one reason or another, you experience a sense of doom and you’re absolutely terrified. Naturally, nobody wants to go through the symptoms of having anxiety or panic attacks – but they happen anyway.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, having a panic attack is perfectly normal if you are going through a life threatening or traumatizing experience. However, if you have unexpected and repeated episodes which are characterized by intense fear, it could be signs of a panic disorder.
Here, we will take a look at one particular aspect of your life which may increase the chances of panic or anxiety attacks occuring: your eating habits.
Wanna Lower the Chances of Anxiety & Panic Attacks? 10 Eating Habits to Avoid!
First, what exactly is the relationship between your eating habits and the occurrence of panic attacks? Basically, people have different ways of dealing with stress and anxiety in their everyday lives. It is a very good possibility that even something as mundane as the way you eat and your actual nutritional intake could be contributing to these ‘episodes’.
To give you an idea, here are ten of the eating habits that you should avoid if you want to decrease the chances of anxiety and panic attacks occuring:
1. Consuming your meals too fast. Let’s say that you only have a 30-minute lunch break at work. Even if you consider yourself to be a workaholic, it is definitely a bad idea to eat your meals too fast or eating them at your workdesk.
Give yourself the luxury of having an unhurried, enjoyable lunch – even if it’s just a sandwich – and take your food outside. This is a great way to avoid any additional stress that you might be feeling inside the confines of your workstation. When taking your meals at home, it is also not a good idea to consume your meals too fast – especially if you’ve already been through a stressful day.
2. Not taking the time to chew your food. Stress, anxiety and panic attacks are bad enough things to go through – you don’t want to add indigestion to the list, so take the time to chew your food properly.
3. Stopping only when you feel full. Another great way to keep panic and anxiety disorders at bay is to avoid overeating. When you’re indulging in a full-course meal, for example, don’t stop only when you feel full. Give your body enough time to register that you are already full, so that your system can digest the food properly and a lot more easily.
4. Not drinking enough water during a meal. The rule of thumb to follow is to drink at least one glass of water or consume one glass of liquid during every meal. Drinking too much wile eating will give your body a harder time to digest your food.
5. Keeping your mind busy while eating. Remember that the occurrence of anxiety or panic attacks could be triggered because you’re not giving your mind enough time to rest. As mentioned earlier, when taking your lunch or even during a sit down meal, try to give your mind a rest by focusing on the tastes of the food that is in front of you.
6. Not watching what you eat. Panic attacks could be triggered by a lack in the nutritional value of the foods that you are eating. Make sure to watch your salt and preservatives intake, and eat as much healthy foods as you can.
7. Not giving a closer look to your body’s nutritional needs. Aside from watching what you eat, it is also a good idea to take multivitamins if necessary and take any other supplement that your body might need.
8. Not knowing what types of food may help in calming you down. For individuals who are already suffering from bouts of panic attacks regularly, they usually recognize the early warning signs. Once they feel an attack coming, most people start to take deep, calming breaths. Sipping a cup of soothing tea or even a glass of water, as well as other foods which may help calm you down is also a great way to keep panic and anxiety attacks at bay.
9. Not dividing your three square meals into smaller meals throughout the day. Adrenal fatigue, anxiety and panic attacks may be caused by low blood sugar. If this is the case for you, it is best to divide your three square meals a day into five or six smaller meals. This way, your blood sugar will be balanced and you will feel a whole lot better.
10. Not knowing the nutritional content of the food that you are eating. When in the midst of a panci attack, it would help to drink diluted fruit juice or consume a banana to bring your blood sugar back to normal. Afterwards, eat something which contains a comination of protein, complex carbs and fat to ensure that your blood sugar will not dip right away.
At the end of the day, keeping panic and anxiety attacks at bay in relation to the food that you are eating is all a matter of having your body function at its optimum level. The better your health is, the lesser your chances of experiencing anxiety or panic attacks.
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